WaPo news blackout on Chavez-Abbas love fest

On Friday, Nov. 27, Mahmoud Abbas turned up at the presidential palace in Caracas where he lined up his strategic interests with those of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

The radical, American-hating Chavez warmly embraced Abbas and congratulated him on the "Palestinian fight against Yankee imperialism and the genocidal state of Israel,which attempts to exterminate the Palestinian people."

In return, Abbas warmly thanked Chavez for his support and told him:  "We're all on the same path."  To seal their deep friendship, Chavez awarded Abbas a major Venezuelan decoration.  The Associated Press duly reported their encounter.  A wirephoto showing Chavez decorating Abbas also was flashed across the world.

Yet, the Washington Post's Nov. 28 edition fails to carry a single word about Abbas traveling all the way to South America to cement close ties with a radical dictator who only a few hours earlier played host to Iranian President Ahmadinejad -- another Chavez occasion for demonizing Israel with poisonous rhetoric.

It's not as if the Abbas-Chavez mutual-admiration society wasn't news.  Quite the opposite.  It was most newsworthy precisely because Abbas has been lavishly praised by both the Obama administration and the Washington Post as a "moderate" and a genuine peace partner, with whom Israel and the West could do business to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and achieve Palestinian statehood.

So, how does Abbas's detour to Caracas comport with the trust accorded him by the White House and the Washington Post that he can be relied upon to negotiate a two-state deal in good faith?

Did the Post query the White House and the State Department on their response to Abbas climbing into Chavez's anti-Washington orbit?  Apparently not. 

During his meeting with Chavez, Abbas had the chutzpah to declare that he's ready for a peace based on the U.S.-backed "road map."  Yet, the "road map," for starters, obligates Abbas to end all incitement against Israel.  What more venomous anti-Israel incitement is there than the Palestinian leader, after Chavez's call for jihad against the Jewish state, telling his Venezuelan host:  "We're all on the same path"?

The Post has published scores of articles sharply critical of Israel for not complying with its obligation under the "road map" to freeze settlement activity, yet, Abbas in Caracas blatantly violated his obligation under the "road map" to cease all anti-Israel incitement when he endorsed Chavez's vicious attack on the Jewish state and welcomed his support as an ally in the Palestinian cause.

Did the Post ask the White House and the State Department how the administration's squares its support of Abbas with hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, while he violates the "road map" in Caracas's presidential palace and makes nice with the leading anti-American rabble-rouser in the Western hemisphere?  Apparently not.

It's not as if the Post were without a South American correspondent to cover the chummy Abbas-Chavez summit.  On Nov. 28, the paper ran a lengthy article by correspondent Juan Forero on Ahmadinjead's forays into South America, including his meeting with Chavez just before Abbas arrived at the presidential palace in Caracas.  Yet, Forero's article makes no mention whatsoever of the Abbas-Chavez encounter on the heels of the Chavez-Ahmadinejad get-together.

Was this news blackout about Abbas yet another favor bestowed by the Post to protect and burnish the phony image of Abbas as a trustworthy "moderate" -- never mind his revolting political theater performance in Caracas?

Whatever the reason, the Post dropped the ball -- big-time -- and reinforced its reputation as an anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian organ with no regard for responsible, fair, even-handed journalism.